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Style Other / Ref.11653

Théodore DECK (1823-1891) - Glazed earthenware dish decorated with a flying dragonfly and a kingfisher


Height: 1'' ⅝  4cm
Diameter: 16'' ⅛  41cm

France, late 19th century

Good condition

Important glazed earthenware circular dish with polychrome decoration of a dragonfly in flight, a kingfisher and flowers.
Signed "TH Deck" and stamp of a profile on the back.
Around 1890.

The role of Theodore Deck in the ceramic production of the second half of the 19th century is very central. On one hand because he is one of those who contributed most to the evolution of ceramic work in terms of technique, on the other hand because he knew how to reinvent the styles of the past without falling into pastiche or copy . He draws his inspiration from many sources, creates his own recipes and demonstrates, in each of his pieces, all his talent of colorist. Fascinated by the Islamic Orient - or Persian art - in its early days, Theodore Deck does not neglect the great stylistic tendencies of his time (marked by eclecticism) and draws his inspiration as well from the art of the Middle Age than in that of the Renaissance. In the early 1860s, Theodore Deck developed the now famous blue which he often adds to other glazes: manganese violet, imperial yellow, celadon green, ivory. These glazes are applied, as in China, on plain or engraved backgrounds and decorated in light relief. The artist is also inspired by Japanese and Chinese polychrome decors. Our work is a good illustration of his production of white, yellow-green or dark-yellow backgrounds with flowering branches and birds on pieces that are often large. Around 1880, Theodore Deck produced porcelain and sandstone claiming the tradition of "ox blood" and Chinese celadon; At the same time, he created his famous gold backgrounds inspired by the Byzantine mosaics of Saint Mark's Basilica, thus demonstrating his ability to draw on different diametrically opposed sources of inspiration. His collaborations with different artists of his time are at the origin of a very particular production, very personal, detached from the different styles that usually inspire him.
An innovative artist, Théodore Deck's participation in the exhibitions is greeted with critical acclaim, particularly in 1878, when a commentator praises the admirable quality of the work, his observations applying perfectly to the piece we are presenting: "Mr. Théodore Deck is certainly one of those who deserve the greatest success among our industrial artists. [...] Wherever he exhibits, his beautiful earthenware, so homogeneous paste, such a pure enamel and so brilliant, with such a striking decoration, attract the attention of the crowd, while the particular merit of their execution, the richness of the forms, the originality of the decor, the value of the enamel at great fire hold, captivate and charm educated amateurs " (Louis Enault, the Industrial Arts ..., Paris, 1877).
Awarded many times at exhibitions, including a medal at the World's Fair of 1862 in London and the World's Fair of 1867 in Paris, or a 1st class medal and a diploma of honor at the Central Union of Decorative Arts Exhibitions in 1863 and 1865, he took the head of the Sèvres manufacture in 1887, ultimate recognition of his exceptional talent.

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